Archive for January, 2009

Revisiting my Twitter Glossary

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Have you ever read someone’s tweet and not known what they are on about?

At IBM HackDay 5, I played around with an idea for a Twitter hack – a Twitter Glossary that would let users define terms they regularly use in tweets. The idea was that followers would see the definitions appearing as tooltips over those words when they appear in tweets.

screenshot of the firefox extension

I described the idea in more detail here. It’s now available for anyone to try.


Another CurrentCost app update

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

The tabbed interface in my CurrentCost app continues to serve me well. It means I can keep adding new pages to try out new things to display and compare, without spending any time rethinking the interface to make room for another graph.

I added another this morning. When you sync the app with the web, it downloads (anonymised) daily power usage values for every registered user, and plots them on a single scatter graph.

I wanted to do this for every stored daily power usage value, but it was unwieldy. I’ve settled for having the web service calculate average daily power usage for each user, and plotting them instead.

plotting everyone's CurrentCost readings on a single scatter graphEach cross on the graph for a day represents a different user, which is neat – a nice way of seeing trends. By plotting my own usage in a different colour, I can see where I am in the distribution.

If you’ve not tried my app yet, please do consider it. The more people I can get submitting data to the web service, the more interesting these graphs become!

Vtech Kidizoom

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Top of Grace’s Christmas list for Father Christmas was a camera.

In the end, Santa went with the Vtech Kidizoom.

Faith - Grace's baby sisterIt was tough to find many reviews for it, so I thought I’d share a few of Grace’s snaps with it so far, for anyone interested to see what the image quality is like – all of the photos in this post were taken by Grace (our 4 year old) with the Kidizoom.

The camera cost £40, and produces JPEGs with a resolution of 640×480. There is about 12 MB of storage in the camera, which has enough space for at least a couple of hundred pics, and an SD card slot if you need more space.


The pictures are a little fuzzy, but Grace is certainly happy enough with them.

The camera does have a flash, which means indoor pics are possible.

It can be tricky getting the distance right when using the flash – too far away and the flash is no use at all and the picture is very dark, too close and the flash is too bright creating a bright white picture. (Although this has created a couple of neat pics such as this one!)